By Renee Parsons, CounterPunch, Aug 4, 2016
If it had not already been apparent, the net effect of the DNC email hack has been to kick open the door to a deep American antagonism towards Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In what has become an old fashioned American pile-on, President Barack Obama, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party and what seems the entire political establishment as well as the MSM, have united to undermine Putin as if to prime the American public for war with Russia.
War is, after all, more successful when the people have been thoroughly programmed. For instance, for a war-weary American public ‘we are bombing civilians out of a humanitarian necessity’ may work well. If necessary, a little hysteria wouldn’t hurt but most of all, a necessary requirement is to efficiently tutor the public consciousness to despise the adversary. In this case, Clinton has identified Putin as the adversary and that he is one evil reincarnation of Adolf Hitler.
Among media outlets, Politico, once considered a ‘liberal’ magazine ran “Inside’s Putin’s Information War” whose author has found a lucrative book deal on the subject and yes, this is the same Politico that requested DNC permission to publish re the Sanders/Clinton primary. The Times of London joined the effort to demonize Putin with several anti Russian articles over the weekend including “Putin’s Information War” which ran on July 30th followed by “Inside Putin’s Info War on America’ in the Wall Street Journal on July 31st. Keep your eyes peeled as the “Putin Info War” concept is sure to catch on.
As part of the effort to synchronize public antipathy to an appropriately belligerent level, the Associated Press recently published an article for wide distribution entitled “Clinton v. Putin: Russian television shows what Kremlin thinks of her.” Perhaps the AP presumed to rouse the American public in defense of Hillary Clinton.
The first paragraph began with the admission that Clinton’s entire acceptance speech had been broadcast live on nationwide television in Russia. If anyone yearns for the day when a Putin speech will be broadcast across American television, forgetaboutit. A good guess is that the intellectually-lazy American public including many liberals who have forgotten how to think, would not make the effort to inform themselves of world events.
Thereafter, the AP article followed with a series of assertions that dazzled the reader with its irony such as: “Viewers were told that Clinton sees Russia as an enemy and cannot be trusted” and “the Democratic convention was portrayed as proof that American democracy is a sham.” The story added that Channel One introduced Clinton “as a politician who puts herself above the law, who is ready to win at any cost and who is ready to change her principles depending on the political situation.”
If the AP reporter wrote with the intention that the American public would rise up en masse and demand satisfaction; how unfair of those Russkies to write like that about our Gal Hill – that reporter was dead wrong.
What the reporter did not mention was that a significant number of Americans, including some of those who plan to hold their collective noses while voting for Clinton in sheer terror of Trump, agree with those quotes. What the reporter did not mention was that the Sanders and Trump campaigns have been largely based on those sentiments giving Clinton an unexpected run for the money which explains why she has had to pull out all the stops to beat Trump, a candidate who, by any standard, should have been a piece of cake.
Giving a wink and a nod to the MSM, Clinton formalized her accusations on Fox News Sunday that ‘Russian intelligence” was responsible for the DNC hacking and linked her opponent Donald Trump to Vladimir Putin.
Using the DNC hack issue as an opportunity to further hammer on Putin, Clinton asserted during the Fox interview that ‘we KNOW that Russian intelligence services hacked into the DNC and we KNOW that they arranged for a lot of those emails to be released and we KNOW that Donald Trump has shown a very troubling willingness to back up Putin, to support Putin.”
A good follow up by an engaged journalist might have been what does Clinton know, how does she know it and when did she know it? If the proof exists, why the reluctance to provide specifics to the American public – but that might require initiative, transparency and some candor? While challenging Trump on his commitment to the Constitution (who clearly could use an Intro 101 class), wasn’t Clinton trained, as an attorney, to understand that evidence comes before the accusation?
This is not the first time that Clinton has personally attacked Putin. In March, 2014 before a University of California audience, she said he was “thin-skinned,” was trying to “re-sovietize Europe while threatening instability and the peace of Europe.” In citing ‘Russian aggression,” she is smart enough to know the difference between protecting ethnic Russians who have centuries of deep cultural roots in Ukraine and Crimea as compared to Hitler’s invasions of eastern Europe.
An impartial observer can only assume Clinton has knowingly skewed the chronology of events in the Ukraine which began with the U.S.-initiated overthrow of a democratically elected President on February 22, 2014; followed by an overwhelming vote on March 16th by Crimean citizens to reunite with Russia which was then followed by the legal annexation of the Crimean peninsula to Russia on March 18th. What is so difficult to understand?
Thanks to Clinton’s repetitive disinformation campaign, accusations of ‘Russian aggression’ are now widespread; repeated without regard to the evidence throughout the mainstream media and by Members of Congress, many of whom choose to remain uninformed.
Back to the Fox interview, she could not resist adding, with mock indignation, that “I think laying out the facts raises serious issues about Russian interference in our elections, in our democracy.” And as if the rest of us were asleep at the wheel and could not distinguish fact from fiction, she further added that “For Trump to both encourage that and to praise Putin despite what appears to be a deliberate effort to try to affect the election I think raises national security issues.”
Does she not see that ‘interference in our elections, in our democracy’ is exactly what the DNC did to the Bernie Sanders campaign?
And has no bright eyed, eager beaver staff person yet pointed out to Clinton that if Russia and Putin had been intent on disrupting the American presidential election, why wouldn’t they have gone after Clinton’s ‘classified’ State Department emails on her personal server that were subject to an FBI investigation and with the potential of criminal charges? Then again, an educated assumption might be that Russian intelligence does have those emails in their possession. Now there’s a real national security issue.
In her eagerness to further aggravate U.S. – Russian relations, apparently Clinton is not only unfamiliar with the State Department’s Foreign Service Protocol for the Modern Diplomat guidelines for rules and process of diplomatic protocol (or perhaps it does not apply to her), but appears she did not receive the memo from the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper.
Responding to the DNC-Russian furor in a more blasé and introspective manner than might be expected, Clapper stepped in as a calm voice of reason stating that he was ‘somewhat taken aback by the hyperventilation on this” and that the U.S. was in “reactionary mode” regarding cyber-attacks. Clapper further indicated he was ‘not ready’ to identify Russia as the hacker “I don’t think we are quite ready yet to make a call on attribution.”
Interestingly, Clapper commented that “cyber warfare is not ‘terribly different than what went on during the Cold War” suggesting that it is ‘just a different modality.” He further suggested that the American people ‘need to accept’ and ‘become more resilient’ since cyber threats are a major long term challenge. Americans should ‘not be quite so excitable when we have yet another instance.” Hmm…wonder to whom he was referring.
In other words, we spy on them, they spy on us – all’s fair in love and war and that there is a certain level of honor among (cyber) thieves.
Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist and staff member of the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington DC.
Interview with Professor Stephen Cohen on Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, Russia, the civil war by Ukraine, and more, broadcast on The John Batchelor Show, Aug 2, 2016
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